When a Bro film heavily relies on hit songs from a star’s past, it often references the blockbuster film’s songs and dialogues, but it may fail to capture fresh standout moments, which can be a big misconception. The duo of Pawan Kalyan and Sai Dharam Tej in the Telugu film “Bro – The Avatar” is such a case. Director Sampath Nandi, who previously wrote and directed Tamil original “Vindhaiya Sathatham,” has reworked the narrative to suit the personalities of Pawan Kalyan and Sai Dharam Tej with the help of Trivikram Srinivas’ screenplay and dialogues. However, “Bro” ends up as a grand misconception—it occasionally brings some joy, but otherwise, it falls short of being a compelling story and feels like a mundane soap opera.
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The main storyline isn’t entirely bad; it conveys a relevant message that no one is irreplaceable; our home and workplace will adapt to us, and we’ll move forward without a care. The story can work as a parable that compels the audience to take some lessons in humility.
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Samuthirakani and Trivikram Srinivas have aptly named the central character Markandeyulu (played by Sai Dharam Tej). Mark thinks he’s presenting his best version for his family and colleagues and knows it better. His unwavering mantra echoes: ‘The hours elude me.’. The introduction of “time” alias Titan in the context of the Titanic sequence with “Power Star” label and references to “Shakti” is quite fitting. He’s also presented as a guide for a shepherd, leading people dressed in various outfits through different worlds like “Vaari Bhaama” from “Thammudu” song. The fun has just begun, so we shouldn’t mind it much. Soon, there are references to Tholiprema, Khushi, Jalsa, and Bhimla Nayak; all this could have been more enjoyable if Bro embraced its original moments that could stand the test of time and work as a part of pop culture in the years to come.
Among the regular intervals of songs, the most enjoyable and foot-tapping ones are Jalasa and Bhimla Nayak’s brief segments, not the new compositions. The same is true for the dialogues as well. The confrontation between Brahmaji (as Kemiya) and Pawan Kalyan is amusing. This duo has previously excelled in writing comedic stretches in the past; here, the writing lacks the same vigor. It never rises above fan service and refers to past dialogues and the star’s political career.
Most of the first hour is spent showing how Mark reevaluates his assumptions about people at home and work. The subplots of siblings are predictable, and the office politics doesn’t add much wonder. In a fleeting moment, Priya Prakash Varrier, Raja Chembolu, Tanikella Bharani, and Ketika Sharma (portraying Mark’s enamored counterpart) seize the opportunity to etch their names in the spotlight. Venela Kishore’s role is also underutilized.
One supporting character who makes an impact is Rohini. For a large part, her role is like a stereotypical screen mom, but the story easily brings her into the foreground. Within the fabric of this cinematic masterpiece, the nexus of transformation emerges in the convergence of two pivotal junctures: the profoundly enlightening segment where Mark embraces an alternative outlook on life and engages in a soul-stirring exchange with Titan, leaving an indelible mark, whilst the climactic culmination remains an ode to narrative brilliance.
Bro doesn’t do anything special with either Pawan Kalyan or Sai Dharam Tej. They merely pass through various emotional moments required for their characters. We’ve seen both of them do better. The overall impact of the spectacle is also underwhelming.
In the end, Gopala Gopala, where Pawan Kalyan played the role of the deity, was a more entertaining film. “Bro,” a remake of the original Telugu film “Vindhaiya Sathatham,” shifted some aspects to suit a young hero and aimed to provide enough entertainment to satisfy Pawan Kalyan’s fans. However, the slow-paced writing and execution cause it to lose its charm.